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Harry's stunner proves in vain for the Cherries

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Andre Marriner

Harry Wilson’s wondrous free-kick proved in vain as the Cherries slipped to defeat against Premier League champions Manchester City today.

The Liverpool loan man came off the bench to post an early a goal-of-the-season contender, despatching an unstoppable drive past Ederson from 30 yards.

His stunning strike deep in first-half stoppage-time saw Eddie Howe’s team halve the arrears following goals from Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

And despite a determined effort by the hosts to register their first point in the top flight against City, Pep Guardiola’s men nipped in the bud any comeback aspirations thanks to Aguero’s second in the 64th minute.

The Cherries were also left to sweat on the extent of a knee injury to defender Charlie Daniels who was carried off on a stretcher in the first half.  

Chris Mepham returned to the starting line-up as Cherries boss Eddie Howe made one change following the 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

Defender Mepham replaced Liverpool loan man Harry Wilson who was named among the Cherries substitutes, while Jack Simpson was also on the bench.

Fast-starting Cherries created the first opening after just 57 seconds when Joshua King robbed Kevin De Bruyne in the middle of the pitch.

But having headed towards the edge of the box, the Norway international fired his resultant shot straight down Ederson’s throat.

Kyle Walker escaped unpunished after scything down Nathan Ake with a crude challenge before the Dutchman was in the right place to divert Bernardo Silva’s shot past the post.

Walker was eventually booked by referee Andre Marriner, the England defender penalised for following through as he again challenged Ake.

Marriner then showed leniency to Ederson, the official brandishing only a yellow card after the Brazilian had cynically taken out Callum Wilson near the touchline.

City drew first blood after 15 minutes – and there was certainly an element of good fortune as Aguero netted for the third game in succession.

De Bruyne miskicked a cross from Oleksandr Zinchenko, the ball falling kindly for Aguero who finished calmly by placing his left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Although Aaron Ramsdale was powerless to prevent Aguero from giving City the lead, the Cherries goalkeeper threw himself to his right to keep out David Silva’s effort minutes later.

The hosts were rocked when Charlie Daniels hurt his knee after falling awkwardly having delivered a cross. He was stretchered off and replaced by Harry Wilson in the 36th minute.

Following a lengthy delay as Daniels received treatment, the game resumed with a long throw from Steve Cook which Ake met although his close-range effort was easily saved.

City had a huge let-off when Ederson blocked with his head, foiling Adam Smith after Nicolas Otamendi had inadvertently chested Harry Wilson’s cross straight to him six yards out.

The Cherries suffered a body-blow two minutes before half-time when Sterling doubled City’s lead with a well-crafted goal, his sixth of the season.

A superb crossfield pass from Aymeric Laporte picked out Bernando Silva on the right flank, who immediately clipped the ball inside to David Silva.

And after he had found Sterling lurking in behind the Cherries defence, the England man prodded the ball past Ramsdale to make it 2-0.

However, Harry Wilson halved the arrears in sensational fashion, the Welshman converting a 30-yard free-kick deep into first-half stoppage time.

The 22-year-old, who scored a stunning goal on debut at Aston Villa, left Ederson clutching at Dorset air as his wonderful strike rocketed into the top corner.

Referee Marriner opted to take no action after Sterling had felled Harry Wilson as the flying winger looked to mount an attack before Ramsdale beat away David Silva’s pot-shot.

Ederson was well placed to save from Callum Wilson after the Cherries striker had wriggled free inside the 18-yard box in the 51st minute.

De Bruyne then traded passes with Aguero, only to fire wide when he should have at least hit the target, before Ederson raced off his line to beat Callum Wilson to Ryan Fraser’s cross.

City – and particularly their boss Pep Guardiola – were fuming when Marriner turned a blind eye to their penalty claim after David Silva had gone to ground under a Jefferson Lerma tackle.

However, and despite Guardiola’s protestations, the decision was checked by VAR and deemed to have been the correct one.

The visitors restored their two-goal lead midway through the second half when Aguero stole in to convert the loose ball after David Silva had initially tried to create an opening.

A double substitution saw Callum Wilson and Adam Smith replaced by Jordon Ibe and Dominic Solanke in the 68th minute.

Solanke was teed up by King in the closing stages but could only fire tamely at Ederson with his left foot, the City goalkeeper saving comfortably. And Solanke had another effort blocked in stoppage-time.

Barnsley Vitality Stadium

Sky Bet Championship

13th March 2021 3:00 PM

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